Give Us this Day our Daily Train
   by John Grey John Grey

John Grey is an Australian born short story writer, poet, playwright, musician, and Providence, RI, resident since the late seventies. He has been published in numerous magazines including Weird Tales, Christian Science Monitor, Greensboro Poetry Review, Poem, Agni, Poet Lore, and Journal Of The American Medical Association as well as the horror anthology “What Fears Become” and the science fiction anthology “Futuredaze.” He has had plays produced in Los Angeles and off-off Broadway in New York. He was the winner of the Rhysling Award for short genre poetry in 1999.

Here comes the freight train,
its cargo, the usual needs
of a tiny, out-of-the-way town.
And off it goes,
with plenty left on board
for more important places.
A few newspapers,
handful of mail,
dry goods, a lump of something
from the refrigerated car—
we hardly matter.
And yet didn’t we,
with eager eyes,
guide that locomotive
into our ramshackle station
from the first glint of steel
on the horizon
to its lazy braking
at the sight of our town’s
crumbling platform.
If we knew better.
we’d throw ourselves in front of it.
one way, at least.
to get what moving truly feels like.
But no, we watch our measly shipment
slap on the concrete,
hear the whistle blow,
as that train pulls away.
faster and faster,
like it can’t leave quick enough.
Once a day, it does this.
10 a.m. on the dot.
You can set your life by it.

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